These kid friendly “smartphones” don’t have a camera and start at $99

It’s easy to understand why parents may have concerns about giving a child their first smartphone – the internet and social media can be a bit of a wild west. The G-mee range of devices is attempting to make this decision a little bit easier.

Designed by Australian company CBN Media, the G-mee family is a kid-friendly smart device range with three models:

  • The standard G-mee, a basic Wi-Fi Android-powered media player. While it runs Android, it doesn’t have Google services installed, which in turn means no Play Store. As such, apps have to be sideloaded through a third party source, but apps like Spotify are installed out of the box
  • G-mee Play, which is similar to the base G-mee, but with Google services
  • G-mee Connect, a 4G model that’s essentially a bare-bones smartphone

The trio are pretty similar in terms of features. A key part of the G-mee pitch is that none of the devices have a front or rear-facing camera. G-mee creator Charlie Brown said the company “started with a phone and worked back” to what was essential and appropriate for a media device suitable for younger children. 

While the G-mee range share a lot of similarities with smartphones, Brown says they’re media players first and foremost. As such, they still have headphone jacks, but Bluetooth is also available for wireless headphones.

In addition, all three have parental controls out of the box – including the option to lock any down with a pin code -, and the 4G version has an integrated call blocker.

The three G-mee devices are available for pre-order now, ahead of launch in early January. The standard G-mee retails for $99.95, the G-mee Play for $119.95 (although it’s being discounted to $99.95 during the pre-order period), and the G-mee Connect for $149.95. They’re currently only available through the G-mee website, but Brown says he’s in discussions with retailers.


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